Books – Preserving Your Library

There are many book collectors who never read the books they buy to keep them in pristine condition. However, most people purchase books to read and enjoy. No matter what your reason for purchasing a book, you should take certain steps to preserve your library.

Don’t Write In Your Books

Some people make notes in margins, highlight, or write in their books. Ink can permanently damage your book and should be avoided if possible. If you simply can’t resist writing in a book, then use a pencil so it can be erased at a later date.

Keep Food and Drinks Away From Your Books

It is very tempting to grab a snack and beverage and sit down and read a good book. However food or drinks can greatly damage a book and ruin it forever. If you have to have a snack or drink while reading your book, make sure your fingers are clean and dry while reading. Make sure any table you set your book down on is dry and free from crumbs or stickiness.

Handle With Care

Anytime you are reading your book don’t dog-ear the pages, use a bookmark and try to avoid breaking the binding. Also, try to avoid placing the book face-down while it is open, this can break the binding and damage the spine of the book. You may also want to invest in a book cover to keep the dust jacket of your book in great condition.

When you shelve your books always store them standing up, not laying down or stacked on each other. This can damage the dust jackets. When you store your books make sure they have enough room so the top of the dust jacket does not scrape against the top of the shelf. Store your books out of direct sunlight and in a clean and dry environment. If you have to store your books in a basement or garage, put them in an airtight plastic bin to protect them from bugs, moisture and other damage. Don’t forget to put them in the bins standing up, not stacked on each other!

In Closing…

We all enjoy a good book, and many of us are avid readers and have amassed quite a substantial library. By taking care with our books we can read them time and time again and preserve them for future generations.

Google Brings Millions of Hard-to-Find Library Books to Your Fingertips

Millions of hard-to-find books from five major libraries will soon be a lot easier to access: Google has made plans to scan and digitize them, making the books available on their widely used Internet search engine.

Google’s latest endeavor is a large step beyond previous attempts to scan books so they can be read online (Google, Amazon.com and other smaller sites have offered glimpses of books and libraries online before). What makes this initiative so different is the sheer breadth of material that Google plans to cover.

Five libraries will be involved in the project in various stages:

* New York public library: Allowing Google a small portion of books no longer covered by copyright.

* Harvard University library: Is contributing a limited 40,000 volumes to gauge how well the process works.

* Stanford University library: Will submit its entire collection to Google’s scanners.

* Michigan University library: Will also submit its entire collection.

* Oxford University library: Contributing all its books published before 1901

To get an idea of just how large a project Google is taking on, consider that Michigan’s library alone contains 7 million volumes, which is about 132 miles of books, while Harvard’s library contains 15 million. The Michigan job is expected to take six years.

Although some in the field worry that this trend could signal the end of libraries, others are excited at the prospect of putting valuable information that was once limited in its use at the fingertips of all Internet users. The project will also create a digital record for material that was created before computers, thereby preserving it in a way that could not have been done in the past.

Google users will only be able to view bibliographies and other brief excerpts from the copyrighted books scanned from the libraries, while works no longer covered by copyrights will be completely available to the online public.

USA Today December 14, 2004

New York Times December 14, 2004

Dr. Mercola’s Comment:

Google’s founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, have long vowed to make all of the world’s information accessible to anyone with a Web browser. Now that vow will come closer to being implemented as Google has made an agreement with some of the nation’s leading research libraries and Oxford University to begin converting their holdings into digital files that would be freely searchable over the Web.

Harvard, the University of Michigan, Stanford and the New York Public Library are some of the U.S. institutions that will be involved. The whole project will convert about 15 million books at a cost of $150 million, or about $10 per book.

Plus, the Library of Congress and a group of international libraries from the United States, Canada, Egypt, China and the Netherlands announced a plan to create a publicly available digital archive of 1 million books on the Internet. The group said it planned to have 70,000 volumes online by next April.

Doesn’t that just want to make you get out of your chair and shout! I don’t know about you, but I am excited.

As long as I am excited about Google I want to let you know that Google has been my home page for over seven years. Why would anyone want to have anything different?

Well, last week I changed my home page. Don’t get worried, it is still Google but it is their new Google Suggest. It suggests queries as you type what you are looking for into the search box. By offering more refined searches up front, Google Suggest can make your searching more convenient and efficient, because it eliminates the need to type the entire text of a query.

In addition, the service can connect you with new query suggestions that are useful, intriguing and fun. Go ahead, try it, you might even make it your new home page. My guess is that in a few years this might be the main Google search engine.

While I am on the topic of Google, I have to tell you about the new version of Firefox 1.0. If you haven’t switched to Firefox you simply must read my article on why you should do so immediately. Firefox isn’t just for alpha geeks anymore. As of last week over 10 MILLION people have downloaded Firefox and installed it as their browser.

Many of you are already one of those 10 million, but the majority of you probably don’t know that Firefox comes preinstalled with search engines other than Google in its toolbar.

I just found out the newest version has a neat feature where you can click the small triangle next to the bottom of the default “G” on the left of the Google search box and you will be able to use other search engines. There are three in there that I use all the time: eBay, Amazon and Dictionary.com. But I recently was able to go to a Firefox add-in page and with one click insert my favorite gadget blog Engadget so now it is one of the options.

Local Libraries Go Digital by Offering EBooks for Checkout

The printed book is losing ground, fast. When librarians are hocking eBooks, proverbially that’s the last nail in the coffin. So why are municipalities finally joining the digital revolution fueled by Amazon and Barnes and Noble? That’s an easy answer: it’s cheaper.

Digital books offer library patrons amazing benefits. Multiple people can check out the same title; no more waiting lists. No more library fines for returning late books, the files automatically expire. Every check out can be done anywhere there is wifi; with a variety of devices available for viewing, the books can be taken anywhere.

Local libraries at the mercy of cash-strapped municipal government budgets benefit from a lower cost per unit. Physical libraries will never go away, as certain reference materials are unlikely to make the jump into digital editions. Also, the librarians offer services that far exceed just checking out books. The local library will still be a sanctioned location for community and government information.

To find out if your library is offering eBooks online, just check their local website. Be prepared to enter your library card number, and possibly a unique PIN you receive from the library. Some libraries are still using pilot programs, so registration may be restricted to patrons in good standing.

Depending on the electronic book lending system the library uses, you have to install a program on your computer, e-reader, MP3 player, or cell phone. This helps protect the digital copyright on the titles. After that, browse the online catalogue, and select the titles that most interest you.

Check out limits will apply, and are far lower than the traditional fifty or so books brick and mortar libraries offer. Also, some programs disable printing, so don’t think you can make an easy copy of a favorite book. Finally, some patrons may be leery about a third-party company having access to their reading habits.

This move is a godsend for the eBook industry. eBook sellers have faced recurring opposition from some publishers and authors about offering their titles in a digital format. Adoption by public libraries lends more credibility to the system, and also expands the reading audience beyond just those willing to pay for digital copies.

Libraries offering eBook lending services is unlikely to diminish digital sales for private companies and publishers. Not every book available for purchase in a digital format will be freely available right away from a library. Also, this will entice people to try out digital book formats who have previously resisted due to cost. The convenience and availability of titles might draw new customers to sites with eBooks for sale, rather than driving out to the book store and hoping the title is there in print. Ultimately, this move will encourage more reading, especially among young people who don’t frequent the public library.